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Well, I think we all knew it wouldn’t last – my resolve, that is, not to go back to Sam for a while.  The truth is that I am listening to the audiobook version of “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”, which my fab narrator Guy is working on and sending to me chapter by chapter, and it has made me miss Sam even more.  And so yesterday I prepared the space for “Plank 5”.

Those of you who followed my writing retreat progress over the summer will know that my Macbook gave up the ghost, taking with her two days’ work on “Portraits of Pretence” (which thankfully I was able to recreate – probably not exactly but perhaps even better than the first time round) and all of my research for the three previous books (which I could not retrieve).  Luckily I had what I call “main Plank research”, which went with the first book, backed up on a memory stick, but for some dotty reason I had not bothered to do that same for the files that went with the second and third books.  So now I have the final text for these, but not all the research that went along with them.  My own fault, of course, for not backing up more assiduously.  My Macbook – Flora – was herself revived and even upgraded by a local Mac resuscitation expert, but I did wonder whether I would trust her again…

So yesterday I had to decide: would “Plank 5” be written on Flora, like its four predecessors, or would I stick with my laptop, which came to the rescue when Flora had her nervous collapse?  I have always liked having a separation between my day job and my Plank writing, and Scrivener (the writing package I use) looks nicer on the Mac than on the laptop, and Flora was very remorseful, so I have decided to stick with her.  I have copied across the research files I do have, and have set up my blank “Plank 5” file, complete with the character files that I carry across each time, where I note details that I have given about the main people so that I can be consistent.  So now I’m heading for 1828…

And I am trying not to go into the Fitzwilliam Museum shop more than once a week to enjoy the sight of my books on their rather erudite shelf of books about art.